Photo taken by contributor Karina Barszewski Churchill, a 38-year-old aspiring novelist and amateur photographer. Karina has bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, diagnosed in 1999. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in creative writing. She then went on to the University of Buffalo to receive a Masters of Library Science. She is a lover of books and libraries. Unfortunately due to her mental illness she was only able to work as a librarian for a short time before going on SSD. She married a wonderful man in 2003 and they now share a house with Mojo (a Maine Coon Cat) and her best friend, Indiana (a Shetland Sheepdog with one blue eye and one brown eye).
About this photo: “Love in the Time of Depression” is a self-portrait with my dog and best friend, Indiana. My grandfather who served in the Korean war died three months before this photograph was taken. Memorial Day brought on grief and depression. Sometimes having bipolar, it becomes hard to separate the two. My face is a true face of depression. The kind we usually do our best to hide. But who will ever understand us if we do not show them? It is difficult to see, except through a dog’s eyes. Indiana understands and accepts me and mood for what it is. He is preparing to kiss my tears away. I think our loved ones sometimes feel helpless in the face of our depression, because they want to fix it and they don’t know how. But sometimes all we need is someone to sit with us in the sun and kiss our tears away.”